Anti-theft devices

maxajax

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Hi! do u guy use or have seen security devices to secure your trees to a bench? any ideas u might have or use would be helpful. thanks!
 

Lorax7

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I’m not sure that anything would really help to secure the tree to the bench (except the usual use of rope, bungee cords, etc. to prevent the wind from knocking trees off the benches). You could maybe lock the pot down, but a determined thief could just pull the tree itself and its root ball out of the pot. I have seen RFID chips for sale on some bonsai supply sites for tagging trees, presumably to have proof of ownership for recovery purposes if a tree is taken. I would guess that most security conscious bonsai folks just put a tall wooden fence around the yard so the trees aren’t visible from outside and call that good enough.
 

Bonsai Nut

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I don't use any... I use dogs, lights, cameras, and an alarm system.

If you are just looking for ideas of how you might secure them, a nursery here runs a pipe down the middle of the bench and literally chains the expensive trees to the pipe. Ugly, but effective.

security.jpg
 
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I don't use any... I use dogs, lights, cameras, and an alarm system.

If you are just looking for ideas of how you might secure them, a nursery here runs a pipe down the middle of the bench and literally chains the expensive trees to the pipe. Ugly, but effective.

View attachment 217868
Or, very easy to take them all at once. Rip the pipe from the bench, and you can load them all up in one go. It's not pretty, but it is effective.

I'm training a western jackdaw to act as my local security officer. But we're still in the discovery phase, where he eats akadama and shits on trees. This guy is like a child.
But I have trained them in the past, with success. Once they become friendly and accustomed, they even come bearing shiny gifts like magpies do. And they're pretty aggressive too.
20181119_101826.jpg
When he's not eating substrate, he is strutting around like he owns the place.

I was inspired by this guy, doing a thing.
 

rockm

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There is no way to completely secure trees, period. Thinking you can is a false sense of security.

The best security is discretion, a high wide wood slatted fence you can't see through, a lockable gate, BIG trees and game cameras.

Not talking to people that you don't know well about your trees is probably the best anti-theft technique there is. Bragging (or even talking about) your hobby to anyone who will listen will alert them to what's going on in your backyard. I tell a very limited number of people in my neighborhood about my trees. My trees are also not visible from anywhere outside my backyard--a point almost as important as not running your mouth. Bonsai visible to passersby are going to get stolen by idiot teenagers, or other dimwits that want it for themselves or to sell for drug money.

I have a high fence and all of my trees weigh over 25 lbs. I also have a twitchy bull terrier who will bark loudly when someone gets into the yard or makes a shadow back there. Since my trees are large, and the fence is high, stealing them would require a lot of upper body strength and at least one accomplice. That kind of organization mostly eliminates idiot teenagers and opportunistic thieves.

I am also installing game cameras at various points around the yard to record thieves' faces, etc. Link them to a computer inside.

Even so, there are instances in the U.S. and elsewhere in which entire bonsai collections from some notable people have been stolen, or individual trees targeted and stolen in organized theft. Some thefts involved backing a truck up to someone's yard and loading it up in broad daylight.

Bottom line, if someone wants your trees, your trees will be taken, regardless of any chains, dogs, guns, cameras you have.

One way to recover your trees once they're stolen could be implanting micro ID chips in them (if they're worth the trouble). I know some have tried this. It can work if the thief attempts to sell the tree into the knowledgeable bonsai community and honest people recognize it. The chip (which is the same tech used on dogs and cats) can be read using an automatic electronic reader. The chip carries a unique ID registered to the owner...

Of course you could get lucky with publicity

As sweet-natured as this guy is, he's making numerous mistakes, IMO. He likes to brag which is probably one of the reasons why his trees were taken. He also vastly overvalues them and isn't afraid to sling about $75,000 values.

Chain link fences BAD
http://www.fox13news.com/news/local-news/thieves-steal-bonsai-trees-worth-7500
 
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Bonsai Nut

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Or, very easy to take them all at once. Rip the pipe from the bench, and you can load them all up in one go.
I think this was more in terms of "during business hours". It is pretty clear that if you were there at night with a crowbar, it wasn't going to last very long :)
 

Cofga

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@rockm is spot on. Don’t give away your exact location on bonsai websites, and don’t even post your real name—use an alias just like the one you use here. Never give interviews to local newspapers and definietely don’t let them print photos of your trees. People seem to associate bonsai with $$$$ and that can attract an unsavory element.
 

rockm

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Like I said, guns, dogs, alarms ARE NOT going to save your trees. Dogs (including GSDs, etc.) can fold like a cheap suit in protection situations. In situations when THINGS are being taken, the best you can expect (and what you'd better pray for) is loud barking to let you know what's going on.

As for shooting someone stealing a tree--better get a good lawyer to protect you from a lawsuit, if you succeed in killing the thief, better get a good criminal attorney.

Be realistic about what you would do...They're ONLY TREES for chrissake...

Best security is to make sure thieves can't get at your trees. It's too late once they've seen your trees and are in your yard...
 

Cypress187

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a nursery here runs a pipe down the middle of the bench and literally chains the expensive trees to the pipe. Ugly, but effective.
Oh, man I wanted to make a joke, but it's real! I was thinking of such a system only more advanced with a pincode and stuff :p (or an irisscan) :)
 

plant_dr

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Maybe a laser mesh system like in Entrapment? Or a pressure sensitive floor, Mission Impossible style? Possibly poison darts that shoot out of walls?

Seriously I thought about just running an electric fence wire (like for cattle) around the inside top edge of my fence. When someone grabs the top of the fence to climb over or whatever... Z-Z-Z-Z-T!!!o_Oo_O

Not that I have any trees worth protecting right now, but the thought has crossed my mind just in case.;)
 

substratum

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It's humor. I also know and understand the law, and would not shoot someone over a tree, or over any property for that matter. I have no desire to add "Shot somebody" to my list of life experiences. A perp would have to cross some lines for that to occur.

On a serious note, locked gates, and cameras are about all you can do for outdoor protection. On my property, you'd have to travel 400 feet past the "No Trespassing" sign, and a couple of gates to reach the inner sanctum. Because I live in the boonies, criminals tend to be pretty cautious about poking around out here.
 

Cajunrider

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Gatling gun mounted on an auto-tracking camera? You get notification when something shows up in the camera so you can pull the trigger when you choose.
 

amatbrewer

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My Bonsai (and home) security?
A 79 lb Pit/Lab mix. Her low growl/bark will stand your hair on end and she barks at anyone who enters the yard (or looks like they might). No one in their right mind would enter my yard uninvited.
But in fact she is the most lovable and gentle creature you could ever meet.
20180616_101414.jpg

On a side note, there is a home adjacent to a trail I hike with a sign showing a dog and it says "No Trespassing. I can make it across the yard in under 3 seconds...can you?"
 

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